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$1.5 Million Bail for Homeless Man Accused of Sexual Assault in Orland Park

State prosecutors say an 83-year-old woman was trying to help a man she thought was homeless when he attacked her near 159th and Harlem.

Bail was set at $1.5 million Monday for a homeless man accused of attacking and sexually molesting an 83-year-old woman near 159th Street and Harlem Avenue last week.

Dennis D. Dodson Jr., 34, without a last known address, was , a Class X felony.

According to state prosecutors, Dodson was living in a forest behind a nearby Orland Park shopping mall when the elderly woman offered him crackers and $15 cash.

Two days later, she came back to tell Dodson that she had spoken with area police and firemen about local homeless shelters and found him surrounded by beer cans. Orland Park police say that’s when Dodson attacked her.

In court on Monday, state prosecutors described a struggle in which Dodson kissed and pulled the screaming woman to the ground, molesting her forcefully with his finger. She managed to escape on her bicycle after sustaining scratches and bruises all over her body, prosecutors said.

For Judge Peter Felice, prosecutors also ran through Dodson’s 16-year history of convictions and imprisonment that includes burglary in Iowa, disorderly conduct in New York and a stolen motorcycle in Ohio.

Dodson has a history of mental health issues and takes psychotropic medication, according to a public defender who asked that the court order psychological testing to gauge her defendant’s mental fitness.

Felice told Dodson’s attorney to take the issue up with the prison warden, saying, “I suspect (Dodson) may be feigning the issue.”

Pat F September 27, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Reform our court system and stop the revolving door of justice! The criminals should be suffering and put away for all the abuses they force on us.. The victims end up getting hurt and lose again when the courts continue to let the criminals walk.........CHANGE our laws!!!
Jesse Marx September 27, 2011 at 09:08 PM
For those who are seriously interested in learning how neuroscience may affect judicial reform, this is well worth the read: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/8520/ I then suggest picking up "The Moral Landscape" by Sam Harris.
Russ September 28, 2011 at 12:13 AM
Back in the pre Reagan days there used to be places for people like Dodson to go they were called mental hospitals funded by the government ,Regan cut the funding and behold homeless people with mental illness walking the streets and living in boxes and bushes.Apparently the price to pay is too much until someone gets attacked.Then the solution for some people is "put him to death".
Russ September 28, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Thanks for the link Jesse,it is a great reference for and about mental disorders.
Jesse Marx September 28, 2011 at 04:16 AM
No problem. The discussion of the illusion of free will is fascinating, and I believe Harris explains the position better.

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